The Story Of The Hemi Engine

By Dave Ashton

Ask any Mopar fan what’ s the best engine and abnormally the reply will be a Hemi. The particular hemispherical cylinder head engine has the roots in WWII fighter airplane in the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, that was re-engineered at first under the name ‘ FirePower’ for Chrysler car engines for your 1951 model year. Desoto automobiles had their own called the Fire Cupola, while Dodge went with the title Red Ram.

The particular hemispherical cylinder head design gave an extremely efficient combustion chamber and showcased two valves per cylinder in the crossflow design, a domed piston and the spark plug near the center of the combustion chamber.

The original 1951 Chrysler Hemi experienced 331ci. (5. 4 L) making 180 bhp. Not a mind blowing quantity of power, but the potential for the motor design was there and more than its three generations, the powerplant has woven itself into muscle mass car history. It was the second era Hemi started in 1964 that really cemented its name. Huge size, massive power with aq 426ci. shift was originally put into a Plymouth Belvedere to see how it fared in NASCAR. To compete within NASCAR they had to have a street edition of the Hemi, which had 425 bhp. From here the engine’ s i9000 reputation continued to grow and now initial classic vehicles from that period with a 426 Hemi engine may reach the millions.

The two videos below give you a fast overview of the Hemi’ s background, with the second giving an explanation of how the engine works, described in the unique style only available through Engineering Explained. Although todays five. 7L and 6. 2L Hemi engine designs are a far leaving from the original with far better performance in fuel economy and getting variable valve timing and coil on connect distributorless ignition amoungst other functions.

The Hemi title is still the calling card regarding ultimate power when it comes to a Mopar and looks like it will continue it’ s reign as shown within the recent Dodge Demon with its 840 horsepower rating. With such a lengthy history and so many variations, the 3rd video below will give you an idea showing how one version of the Hemi even compares to another, basically old versus brand new.

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